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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, starting a new thread!<br>
Here goes!<br>
-Lori
 

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Well, I find it hard to strike the right balance at Christmas. For me, it's a time to connect with friends (not much family around). Dh is a bit bah-humbug-ish about entertaining though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> . I find that if we don't do much it doesn't feel special. After many, many Christmases together, we are still trying to come to consensus about how we want to spend the holidays. Emily, I loved your description of your tradition. We are shopping for traditions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> , and welcome suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
robugmum said:<br>
"The Cristmas craziness has definitely begun around here too. ...it looks like we're back to the usual very expensive stress and chaos. The trouble is, I love Christmas , I do. I love Christmas trees and gingerbread houses and carolling and big yummy dinners and the whole giving thing. I just don't like shopping and I'm not all that creative when it comes to making gifts."<br><br>
and emily markus said:<br><br>
"We do the gifts... <snip> Sometimes the gifts are excessive, these days, with in-laws, and grandchildren, etc... but the tree is still the main focus, and I'm so happy with that. i hope we can keep this tradition for generations."<br><br>
Ah-yah! I know what you mean. I love love love Christmas - dinners and parties with close friends and a few useful nicely wrapped presents to give and receive. But my mom goes so overboard with the gifts. It's crazy and most of it is stuff we don't want or need or it's junk food we don't want or can't eat. One year she gave DH a super-size bag of no-name potato chips! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"> And he has high cholesterol and triglycerides and can't eat anything like that!!! And who gives no-name chips as a gift???? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> This year I'm planning on giving her cloth napkins because they often have lots of people over for family dinners (with my and Dsister's kids and DH's it's now a big family) and they'll come in handy. And I'm giving my sister a binder with all my favourite easy and quick recipes since she's just starting to cook.<br><br>
Our focus for Christmas is going to Midnight Mass where I usually sing in the choir and then all going to mom's house for "Reveillon" after - eat tourtiere and pickles and open all the presents that Santa left for all the good kids who went to church <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> and stay up until about 4am talking and joking around - you know how everything is funnier around that time. Then we have none of that waking up early baloney on Christmas day! Then DD usually goes over to Victoria for Christmas dinner with her dad's family, but I think they've shifted operations to her aunt's in Richmond (phew!). I also visit my Dad's sister in PoCo on Christmas eve, but she also gives us useless crap. One time when my sister was 18, my aunt gave her this Barbie fashion plate thing meant for, like, 10 year olds! Whoops. One of the many reasons my sister hates that aunt and refuses to go. I'd be much more pleased about going there myself if we actually got invited to join them for dinner and not after dinner! For all that driving, I want something more substantial than shortbread (though it IS good) and lukewarm pop. :LOL But it's our one opportunity to celebrate Christmas with my dad, so we go. Gotta love family!<br><br>
urp, sorry about the essay...<br>
-Lori
 

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Good timing - I hear it's snowing in Abbotsford <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> .<br><br>
I had a scare on Saturday - lost Danny in Toys R Us for a few, very long minutes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> . Time to dig out the harness, I think! What a relief when one of the staff brought him back, although still a little worrying since he wasn't crying & I thought he would if a stranger picked him up (didn't think of that at the time, just cried myself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> ).<br><br>
It was good to see Lori & Ksenia at the DFB meeting on Sunday <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> . Who's up for a pre-Christmas potluck get together?? Do weekend days work for most people so those that work (outside the home :LOL ) during the week could come too?
 

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Oh yeah, about Christmas traditions...we don't really have any.<br>
Dh is usually working (somehow the guys with no kids always seem to get it off <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ), but we often spend some time with his family in Merritt. That involves (hopefully no more than) a couple of days of eating processed, white bread c&^p food & little or no fruit or veggies. Their idea of vegetables is potatoes & corn <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> . We do try to bring some staples along for the kids, at least. Anyway, we have reconciled with his sister (I don't know if any of you were around for the lifestyle-bashing his sister did a couple of years ago, but it was pretty ugly for a while there) so we can stay at her place & talk late instead of entertaining ourselves after his parents go to bed at 9:00 PM.<br>
My family (basically, me, my mum & my sister) pretty much go our own ways since my brothers are losers & dad passed away 5 years ago. A couple of things I remember from when I was a kid are the <i>really</i> fake, fake tree, having the same wrapping paper year after year & taking turns opening gifts. I had to have a real tree for the longest time, but I think we might get one of the new, pre-lighted fakes after Christmas this year. It makes so much more sense, especially if we are going to be away for the main reason it's up.<br>
I'd like to start some new traditions in our own family unit, so maybe I can get some ideas from you guys <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> .
 

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Me again! I just came across this thread & had to post it here: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=220077" target="_blank">MDC families in need</a>. They really need some more Canadian families to help out!
 

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Hello all!<br><br>
First of all YES to a get-together before Dec. 16th. I'd be into an evening out with just the moms, and/or a get-together with everyone during the day. I don't know if the weather is meant to be good this Fri, but we were kind of thinking of going up to the top of Grouse Mountain, it's really nice up there! I'd also like to take in the Festival of Lights and the train in Stanley Park before we leave, so maybe we can coordinate a holiday activity with a get-together? Or a brunch? Or good ole Science World?!!!<br><br>
As for the insanity of the holidays, I love the idea of creating wholesome memories of the festive season - we grew up with Winter Soltice (very few gifts and lots of fun traditions) with my mom, and Christmas with my dad (lots of gifts, but also lots of traditions - we always watched "A Christmas Story", he always read "The Night Before Christmas" before bed, we got to get up early and open stockings and there was always a plate of candy for first thing in the morning, big brunch, lots of great dinners and as we got older Trivial Pursuit games...lots of happy memories!) I want to cut down on the chaos of gifts (both the insane amount my kids are growing up to expect and also the pressure that Maegan speaks of to 'keep up') but love the idea of creating traditions - singing carols, reading certain books, going out to play in the snow with hot chocolate, etc. Christmas morning we've been letting Kea open her stocking right away, but then she has to wait for a nice breakfast (though there's lots to keep her occupied with the stocking!) before we take turns opening the rest of our gifts - I think it's hard for her to wait, but I think it's important to learn, and *hopefully* helps her to appreciate each gift and the giver - who knows, maybe she'll just resent it when she's older?!!!<br><br>
I'm really looking forward to this year and really dreading it! We're going to Ottawa, and seeing Jamie's family for the first time over the holidays since kids. Jamie will have 3 weeks off and his sister is looking into all sorts of fun activities. But his mom already called to say "I know that it's important to you that I not go crazy, and that you don't want a tonne of gifts for the girls, and I know that I'm going to piss you off.....but I just can't help myself!" So now I"m just trying to come to terms with it, as I also don't want Kea to not appreciate the intent behind it all, and I don't want there to be even more tension around the holidays than need be! But I would love Kea to have a well-thought out stocking and one or two good-quality nice gifts (even if they're really expensive) and that's it! Oh well, not fated to happen. As for my gift giving, I just decided to do what I ask for - homemade, thoughtful, and/or activity based. Hand-knit scarves, homemade granola, Kea's making window clingers for everyone, tickets to a favourite concert, I always make Jamie's mom pages for her scrapbook of the girls, etc. We'd go broke trying to keep up, and I don't believe in it anyways, so I give the gift of time!<br><br>
And now I'm writing a novel! Time to make breakfast for my poor neglected kids!!!<br><br>
Erica
 

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Oh Christmas. I really ,really want to love this time of year, but I struggle with it. I have wonderful memories of childhood Christmas, despite the fact we were always dirt poor and my father was a real holiday humbug until Christmas Eve. What I remember most fondly is going out to get the tree with my dad, sisters and brother early Christmas Eve morning, then waiting with much anticipation until after dinner when we got to decorate the tree. Christmas morning we could get up at 6 and open our stockings and Santa presents, then had to wait until Dad did all the farm chores and for the family to eat breakfast before we could open the other gifts. We would also sing carols to the neighbours on our way back from the tree chopping trip :) We also used to paint eggs to decorate the tree with, something I look forward to doing with my son when he is older. Remembering all these things makes me want to cry.<br><br>
But now, Christmas has been somewhat hijacked by my DH's small but stubborn family. I haven't spent Christmas day with my own family for 13 years. DH's family spends way too much money on useless gifts, although this year we are paring back, thank goodness, but I'm sure his mum will still go overboard, especially now that we all have babies. I feel like DS is too little this year to start making our own traditions, so I guess next year I'll start putting up a tree and creating our own family traditions.<br><br>
This post has made me really nostalgic. I think I'll send an email to my mum telling her how grateful I am that she made such wonderful holiday memories for me even though we had no money :)
 

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Just wanted to subscribe - thanks Lori for the new thread! It seems to have gotten us all talking again!<br>
Hmmm, let's see, Christmas traditions:<br>
from my childhood....<br>
the 3 of us trying to physically pull my dad out of bed on Christmas morning,<br>
-going to the Ross's party in Surrey (long sleepy drive) on Christmas Eve and feasting on all those groovy 70's treats like Swedish meatballs, ribs, cheese balls and cream soda<br>
-going to Mass on Christmas morning and having to wait until both Mass and breakfast were done before opening presents<br>
-my parents having a big fight!<br>
-playing with the nativity scene figurines<br>
-picking candies off my grandparents candy wreath<br>
-sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and creeping downstairs to get a preview of what the morning would bring, I'd lay on my back under the tree and look up at all the lights, it was so magical!<br><br>
New ones that dh and I have started...<br>
-hauling home our carefully selected tree from the hardware store down the street using the kid's wagon (not exactly going out into the woods but a pretty close urban approximation!)<br>
-having the grandparents over for brunch on Christmas morning<br>
-making Santa's ashy bootprints tramp from the fireplace to the tree to the cookies and scotch!<br>
-a really great creche, good for playing with, of course!<br>
-gingerbread creations!<br>
-an Advent calendar, Oscar actually wants an advent wreath this year too.<br>
-as much magic as possible! I have, so far, refused to read any books to the kids that even hint at the idea of not believing in Santa and magic, they'll have the rest of their lives to be skeptical! (I've heard the Polar Express is really beautiful but I'm waiting to introduce it)<br><br>
Happy Holidays!
 

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Hello,<br>
Thanks Lori, for starting this new thread....<br><br>
Christmas: We, too are still trying to define our own traditions... I guess everything changes when you have kids and you have to shape your own way of doing things.... Last year we went to Spain and Diego literally received gifts everyday, and he got tons on Christmas as well as the epiphany (major day in Spain) and now this year we're all by ourselves and my mom is coming over, and hopefully we can "return to basics" of the non-importance of gifts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> DH and I usually don't buy gifts for each other, so it's only Diego that gets a couple of them...<br><br>
What I really like is all the special feeling of winter.... this morning I was driving looking at the snowcapped mountains, feeling the crispy air, and watching the moon still very visible up there.... I don't know, something in the air is different and I love it! Since we live here, we've been doing the <a href="http://www.secretlantern.org/" target="_blank">procession of lights</a> to celebrate Winter Solstice and it's become a tradition for us.<br><br>
About a get together, I'm all up to it too! Looks like it's hard to find a couple of hours when we're all free, but let's give it a try!<br>
Erica, thanks for saying you wouldn't mind coming all the way here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
I would be up for a Friday, even if Diego had to miss school if it's in the<br>
AM...<br><br>
Of course a mom's night out would also be good.... but let's get together!!!<br><br>
About the wooden toys sold in Canada, these are some links to people that were selling at Waldorf's Christmas fair last week:<br><br><br><a href="http://www.waldorfgifts.com" target="_blank">www.waldorfgifts.com</a><br><a href="http://www.polkaimports.com" target="_blank">www.polkaimports.com</a><br><a href="http://www.jalutoys.com" target="_blank">www.jalutoys.com</a>
 

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No time to write, just wanted to add my .02 about get togethers...<br><br>
I'd be into a mom's night (before the 16th, of course <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) but the 11th doesn't work for me. As far as daytime things go, we're pretty free, except for wednesdays and monday the 6th.<br><br>
plan ahead, planners!
 

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I'd really love to go on the Stanley Park Train of lights, if anyone else is up for it!<br><br>
After making my last depressing post about Christmas, I decided to do my Xmas shopping online. Got almost all of it done in 1 hour, online for under $200.00. Now I just have to go out with DH to get a gift of MIL and something for DS, and knit a scarf for the cousin who celebrates the holidays with us. I love the internet <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Dido, what sites did you use? Everything I find seems to be in the States, I'd love to find some good Canadian sources...
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>robugmum</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Dido, what sites did you use?</div>
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Jumping in here, I really like the <a href="http://www.milkface.com/" target="_blank">Milkface web site</a> - that's where I would shop for the mamas on my list...good prices and selection.
 

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Just jumping in to say a quick Hello to everyone!<br>
Christmas: I really love this time of year ,too.My birthday is very close to Christmas day.<br>
We,too we're looking for our own traditions as well.I don't have any family here and DH has only a sister.<br>
So in a pre-kids time we ussually went away this time of year.But now we doing Hanukkah and Chrismas.Last year ,for the very first time we bought a fresh tree,and a couple presents for the boys...<br>
I'm in for the potluck,but day time is better for us...and also for the mom's night out as well...any night would be okay for me.
 

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I'm in for both a Mum's night and a potluck. Weekends don't really work for me, they are all booked until January! Pretty much any weekday afternoon is good though. As for evenings, as long as its during the week, I'm pretty open. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I used <a href="http://www.toysrus.ca" target="_blank">www.toysrus.ca</a>, <a href="http://www.hbc.ca" target="_blank">www.hbc.ca</a>, <a href="http://www.leevalley.com" target="_blank">www.leevalley.com</a> (great wooden gifts here) and <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.ca" target="_blank">www.amazon.ca</a>. HTH!
 

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I second the wooden gifts from Lee Valley,too.<br>
And Winners in Park Royal.They have quite a selection of wooden toys (but they're hit and miss,you know).
 

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Hello everyone!<br><br>
Tiffani and I are talking about making our way up to the top of Grouse Mountain this Friday. We haven't figured out what time we'll be there, but want to get there in the morning. I have an annual pass for the gondola, so can offer 1/2 off three other adult fares if anyone else wants to join us?! Other than that, as for a brunch I know that Elena had offered up her house but wasn't sure if people could go out there (by Horseshoe ferry I believe) - I don't know if that's still available, but if it is, what about next Friday? And if not at Elena's house, we could figure out somewhere else if that day works for most people?! Just wanting to get the ball rolling on some concrete plans, before our schedules get too booked up!!! I'd love to suggest my house, but it's CHAOS between preschool stuff (being the president is taking up A LOT of my time!) and craftiness for holiday gifts.......did Cafe de Soleil ever work out?<br><br>
Okay, off to finish dinner, hope to see you all soon!<br>
Erica
 
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